Ain't About Love Official Music Video
HomeNewsMusicVideosPhotosLiveAbout Orrin BoltonConnectOroco Support ServicesStore


News & Events

Download PosterHearst Newspaper Article (12/21/2010)


Text of Hearst Newspapers' article - December 21, 2010

Bolton brother Orrin brings life lessons, blues rock to Daniel Street Scott Gargan, Staff Writer Published 05:01 p.m., Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Orrin Bolton was living happily in Kabul, Afghanistan, exploring his spirituality, playing guitar and making plans to open an inn with his business partner. Then one day, he heard the rumbling of the Soviet troop transports.

In the ensuing invasion of Afghanistan, Bolton jumped in a cab and fled to Pakistan. He caught a train to New Delhi, India, where he was stranded and broke for nearly a year."Let me tell you -- being penniless there is not the same thing as being penniless in the United States," said Bolton, who was 24 at the time. "The whole experience was quite biblical."

Bolton has long been a world traveler -- trekking across southeast Asia, living on the Hawaiian oceanfront, recording in Jamaica, and playing in Amsterdam with his former band, Jelly Roll Jam.

It is these experiences that color the musical odyssey of "Liv'n Like A Man," Bolton's first proper studio album in two decades. The singer/guitarist will celebrate the release of the CD with a performance at Daniel Street in Milford and a dinner at the Stonebridge Restaurant on Wednesday, Dec. 29.

Bolton, a New Haven native, said it was these experiences that shaped him -- that taught him the ways of survival, the importance of compassion and the wisdom to follow his own destiny. "The lessons I learned, even while I was stranded, serve me every single day here in the West," Bolton, 61, said.

On the title track of his blues-rock record, Bolton chronicles his international exploits, the excesses of his touring days and the fall-out over a broken relationship. But a lesson emerges: "To your heart be true, it's all here just for you," he croons in a gritty, thunderous voice.

A Renaissance man, Bolton knows multiple languages, including Farsi, Dutch and Jamaican patois; works with various charities, including the New York-based Kids for Life Foundation; and writes books, including "Confessions of a Soda Jerk," a self-help graphic novel designed to help young people overcome drug abuse.

But in the music industry, his claim to fame was his role in launching the career of his brother, Michael (yes, Orrin is the older brother of the soft rock sensation). Upon returning from India, Bolton rigorously pursued a record deal for his brother, visiting 24 labels before securing a contract with RCA Records.

"People realized Michael had a powerful voice and could write songs," said Bolton, who has worked with him on several tracks, including the reggae-tinged "Please Come Home."
Not surprisingly, fans have gushed to Bolton over his brother, a troubling phenomenon he calls "(Michael)waving." Even worse, he's been mistaken for him.
Bolton joked: "I'll get into an elevator and the girl standing next to me says, `You're Michael Bolton!' I say, `No, I'm Orrin Bolton, his brother.' And she says, `Oh, I didn't know you had a brother!"

While his brother has seen massive success, Bolton has quietly cultivated his own career. At the age of 19, he was the lead singer of the Dutch band Jelly Roll Jam and in 1991, founded his own label, Rock'n Hood Records. He later released his solo debut, "Freedom," the title cut of which was licensed by High Times Magazine.

He recently returned from a trip to Nashville, Tenn., where (he wrote with Roy August, and others), he worked with friends of the late great songwriter and publisher Ben Peters, and (he) performed a fundraiser at the Red Rooster for a Marine, severely wounded in Afghanistan.

After reading Herman Hesse's novel, "Siddartha," as a teen, Bolton knew he would "be in India one day." And while the strange, harsh trip was nothing like what he expected, the experience had a positive impact, helping to mold him into the man he is today.

"The more you get out there, the more opportunity there is for life to surprise you," Bolton said. "You can't have any regrets."